The local NBA franchise had a forgettable year this season. They averaged just over 14,000 fans a game and that seems about 13,000 too high. I’m sure they counted all the season ticket seats and about half of them showed up for the game, so no way the 14,000 is legit. Either way, they finished a lousy 25th in overall home attendance and other than the people at the games; no one really cared at all about the T-wolves.
We followed them probably a little too much but that’s what we do. The season just ended last Wednesday, so we thought we’d do a little review/preview of your Minnesota Timberwolves. Fuzz will be analyzing the season that just was and Q will be speculating on what’s to come.
I’ll be going over the 2007-2008 season that our club just finished. I’ll be analyzing it in many different random categories. If you didn’t see a damn game all year, hopefully you’ll get a picture on how it played out.
Best player- Al Jefferson. It’s only fitting that you mention Big Al upfront when talking about a review of this year’s season. He WAS the Minnesota Timberwolves this year. Our best statistical player, most recognizable player, & thee franchise guy for this club. He was the main chip in the KG trade and he exceeded expectations. Everyone kept telling us that he was one of those good young players in the league, but I didn’t expect a 21/11 season like Al put up. One of four guys in the whole NBA to average over 20 points and 10 rebounds a game. He had a monster year and only should get better. Oh yeah, he’s 23.
Greatest victory- They only had 22 of them so it was pretty easy to scan the schedule to find the dandy’s. They beat Utah twice at home and beat Golden State on the road. Not too shabby. But the T-wolves best victory this year was a home win against Phoenix on January 23rd. At that time, the Wolves were 6-34 and Phoenix was 30-12. Just a hair different, wouldn’t you say? They won 117-107, scoring their fourth highest total of the year. Big Al went 39/15 that proved to all of us that this guy is freaking awesome. This was also a back-to-back game where they beat Golden State the night before at G.S. and then beat the Suns the next night at home. Easily the best stretch they had.
Worst loss- Ok, let’s get this out of the way: We effing sucked this year! I just went through all our losses and we got pummeled in a lot of games. A lot. After all the searching through the 60 (yes, 60) losses, the worst was a road loss to Utah on March 3rd. We lost 105-76. We shot 37% and tied our lowest point total of the season. The Jazz could have showed up stoned & piss drunk and still beat us that night. We were that shitty. I would like to say that this was our only 25+ loss, but we had like 20 of these. It’s been an historic season in that sense.
Most polarizing player- Rashad McCants. Fans either like him or hate him. No in-between. You either want him to play more and want him to get traded…ASAP! Personally, I like him. He provides offense in a league that is offensive geared and on a team that doesn’t have a ton of offensive weapons. Yes, he flat out sucks on D sometimes (or all the time) but he’s a good sixth man guy. He (kind of) accepted this role this year and hopefully if he’s around, they can sell him on it 100%. He has a few good skills and I don’t see how you can just throw that away. The fans that want him traded want someone else instead. But I ask, who? It’s hard to find decent/good players in this league, especially to come to Minnesota. If I were Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix) in the movie “Gladiator,” my thumb would be turned up to keep the warrior alive instead of being killed. And then the whole arena would erupt! Or maybe not…
Most likely to sleep with the entire Dance team- Michael “bedroom all-star” Doleac. Just kidding. This has to go to Antoine Walker. Did you guys even remember he was on our team? He hardly played when he was healthy and sat out the last 30 games because of one of those NBA injuries. Glen Taylor wanted to buy him out so he could have the opportunity to go to a contender. Antoine politely declined because he didn’t want to take the pay cut. What? He has the money, so the only other explanation is that he was playing Wilt Chamberlain with the dance team. His fun zone wanted him to stay---so he did.
My favorite new player not named Jefferson- They had a lot of fresh meat this year. 10 new faces---Brewer, Buckner, Doleac, Gomes, Jefferson, Ratliff, Richard, Snyder, Telfair and Walker. My favorite out of that group was Ryan Gomes. He’s a great starter- role player, if that makes sense. You can’t have five all-stars starting for you. Or, you can’t have five offensive only guys starting for you. You need a balance. Gomes is a great fit for this category. 12.5 pts, 6 boards and just over one turnover a game. Good FG & FT percentage guy and great overall team guy. Solid--that defines Gomes. He doesn’t demand the ball but does well when he has it. Love this guy.
The “how’d the F he do that” award- Marko Jaric dating Adriana Lima. This one is odd. Adriana Lima is smoking hot. She’s been on like a billion magazine covers, looks great in underwear and could date any guy in the world. Who does she pick to date? She wanders up North and lands with this stinky, Euro trash chump with really small eyes that sucks at his profession. Really Adriana? Really!?!?!?!?
Player with the most calluses on his hand- This one is a lock every year until this player leaves our “great” franchise. This category obviously goes to Mark Madsen. Is there a better player cheerleader in the entire sports world? There’s no way. I wonder if he makes it a point not to clap during the off-season to give his hands a rest? I bet that’s his off-season workout. Coach Wittman at last team meeting: “Jefferson, work on your defense. Brewer, get to a man’s weight level. Foye, stay healthy. McCants, get another tattoo. Jaric, don’t ever come back and Madsen, don’t clap! We need those paws for another year! Alright fellas, see you next year.”
The Rookie- I have no award, I just want a spot to talk about Corey Brewer. Chris Richard was also a rookie but he played 10 minutes a game and is nothing more than a bench guy. Most of you know Brewer’s pre-pro credentials: Two-time National NCAA champion, good team guy, good defense and overall a good wing player. I had zero problem with the Wolves drafting Brewer. Zero.
However, he didn’t have a great year. Just under six points and four rebounds a game. He did play some pretty good defense, probably the best on the team but he’s farther away from being a legitimate player in this league than most of us thought. First off, he’s a toothpick. He needs to bulk up this off-season, like 50 pounds. Another thing he needs to do is work on his jump shot. He ended up finishing at 37% from the field. Horseshit, pretty much. He was good at Florida because they played a good transition style and not having a penetrating point guard or having an up & down offense hurt his strengths. A guy like Derrick Rose would do wonders for him. Oops, I’m just supposed talk about the year that was. My bad. I’ll leave that stuff for Mr. Cue.
Three records were set- 1) Jefferson set the Wolves record for most offensive rebounds in one season. 2) McCants set the Wolves record for most three-pointers made in one season. 3) And we set the record for the most times the franchise’s season ticket holders had the email subject line: “Want free tickets tonight?”
T-Wolves preview by Q tomorrow...